In recent years, the Genetically Engineered Mouse Model (GEMMs) have contributed positively to the field of cancer research. In contrast to traditional cancer cell inoculation models, GEMMs develop de novotumors in the natural immune proficient environment. Despite the fact that the survival rate of cancer patients has improved over the last decades, clinicians are still facing challenges during treatment. The major problem is the development of drug resistance. Moreover, after successful treatment, the presence of a small number of drug-tolerant tumor cells can survive and remain dormant for extended periods of time and eventually relapse to form recurrent disease that can be phenotypically different from the original tumor. The rapid growth in metastatic diseases which accounts for around 90% of cancer-related deaths are showing significant challenges in drug discovery process.
Successful treatment of cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach in which different strategies such as surgery, irradiation, cytotoxic therapy, and immunotherapy are combined. To find the most effective treatment for different cancer types, researchers are heavily relying on preclinical research in animal models. Despite successful validation of novel anti‐cancer therapies in conventional preclinical mouse models based on xenotransplantation of established human cancer cell lines or allotransplantation of mouse tumor cell lines, the majority of phase 3 clinical trials fail. Recent developments in the generation and characterization of genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer have resulted in notable improvements in these models as platforms for preclinical target validation and experimental therapeutics.
The applications such as validation of cancer genes by considering the speed of GEMMs with advanced technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 and embryonic stem cells (ESC) are the methods of choice for fast‐track validation of candidate cancer genes. Moreover, some tumors are highly dependent on a single oncogene for their growth, a phenomenon called “oncogene addiction”. In addition, GEMMs have revolutionized the field by revealing the complex crosstalk between cancer cells and the immune system in metastasis formation. Thus, to minimize the risk of failure of novel anti‐cancer therapeutics in clinical trials, preclinical evaluation of response and resistance in robust and predictive in vivo models are essential. Hence, preclinical drug efficacy studies in (humanized) GEMMs may advance the development of optimal anti‐cancer drugs to target specific tumors and the identification of determinants of therapy response that may be used as predictive biomarkers for patient stratification.
Thus, growing adoption of genetically engineered mice model in oncology research and cancer medicine is driving the growth of mice model market, which is expected to grow at CAGR of 7.2% to reach USD 1,370.5 million by 2023, according to the Meticulous Research®.